Sony announced its latest full-frame SLT camera, the Alpha 99 Mark II at Photokina 2016 in September, but it’s only now that full production samples of the camera are becoming available.
I was invited to shoot with the Sony A99 Mark II at the driving track at Mercedes World in Weybridge, UK. Naturally, I jumped at the chance.
As you’ll see from the images, the weather was less than favourable with rain varying between fine and heavy. Visibility also wasn’t good and a lens cloth was essential to keep the front element of the lens clean – although at times it was a losing battle.
Nevertheless, they were ideal conditions to give the new camera’s hybrid autofocusing system a proper test.
The majority of the images that I shot were taken with the Sony 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM II lens at the 300mm end. That means the maximum aperture available was f/5.6 – not the natural choice for most serious motorsports photographers, but it added to the camera’s challenge.
Despite all the difficulties, the A99 Mark II managed to focus on fast moving cars and keep them sharp as they moved closer.
In Expanded Flexible Spot mode, which allows you to select a small AF point with surrounding points being used if necessary, the camera got the subject sharp in a flash and kept it sharp until it got too close for it to focus.
It even did well when I switched to Wide AF mode and left the choice of AF point to the camera. The active point lights up in red and although the active area sometimes moved to the back of the car rather than the front, it was always on the car and that point was sharp.
Sony A99 Mark II Sample Images (Car Track)
Follow this link to view and download a selection of Sony A99 Mark II images. All of the images are direct from the camera and have not been edited in any way.